Parent Survival Guide: The importance of annual sports physicals for kids

VIDEO: Parent Survival Guide: The importance of annual sports physicals for kids

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Letting your kids participate in playing sports is not only a great way for them to be active but also a way to meet new people.

Playing sports means its also important to make sure your active kid regardless to their age also gets a sports physical to insure their health and safety. Pediatric sports medicine Physician Dr. Benji Rodgers with Sweetgrass Pediatrics spends many days on the football field as a sideline physician for Timberland High School.

He says getting a sports physical done before any sport is played regardless of your child's age is important.

“The exam is based more on family history it’s also based history of having heart issues of hearing heart issues or ashtma and the child’s history of heart, breathing, and concussion issues so its very detailed,” Rodgers says.

Rodgers says that detailed medical history also allows a doctor to identify risk factors that are linked to specific sports.

It also lets him know if an athlete needs to go to a specialist for further testing.

“If there is a family history issue of someone having cardiac death in their family that lets us know we need to investigate them," he says. "About 10 percent of people we see need to have the secondary clearance from a cardiologist and only about 1 percent cannot play do to health history.”

In addition to the medical portion there is also a physical portion to the evaluation.

This checks areas like your child's heart, lungs, height , weight, blood pressure and pulse.

“It gives me piece of mind as a physician when I’m on the sidelines that these athletes have gone through a protocol of making sure they are ok,” Rodgers says.

He says a sports physical should be done at least six weeks prior to your child participating in any sport just in case they need to get further testing done.

He also says a it should be done with your child’s primary care doctor because your child’s physician already knows your kids health history.

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